So here we have a new producers letter from Carrie Gouskos, who has taken over from Bruce MacLean as WAR’s new Franchise Producer. Apparently Carrie’s job, alongside Jeff Hickman, is no less than planning the future and vision of WAR. One must ask why the job seems to have a revolving door, as it seems like Mythic do a management churn every other month… Anyway, good luck to Carrie and now onto this latest producer’s letter…
It’s a mixed start for Carrie. Whilst I like the style of the letter, the background she’s put in and the way it’s written, the problem is that once again it doesn’t tell us much that we’ve not already known for months. Considering the length of the letter I’m a little surprised to see so much of the same old stuff being said. Also despite attempts to do the opposite, it includes a comment that really sticks in the mind, giving off the hideous stench of maintenance mode:
“It’s also important to keep game play fresh. As such we’re finding ways to maximize our content.”
Note that’s not add new content to freshen things up, it’s “maximize our content”, which reads as the existing and old content. Now whilst that “maximising” is actually a good thing, the problem is that WAR gamers desperately want to hear that Mythic will be adding new content to properly freshen things up. Mythic may accuse me of over-analysing their maximise statement, but what do they expect when we’re still not being given any information on anything other than tweaks to existing content and not a single word on anything actually new.
However I don’t want that negative point to dominate this post, nor do I wish to slaughter Carrie’s first letter as she has also given us insight into some cool sounding things that their maximised content will bring.
So what in this letter is actually news?
“The WAR Asia team has been looking at the game with a different and fresh perspective, and we hope to bring that perspective to the live game. This doesn’t mean everything being developed for Asia will be released in the other markets (it doesn’t all translate), but the good news is that nothing is too precious for us to re-examine…carefully!”
Other than the different cutesy character models which I wouldn’t touch with a bargepole, I have no idea what’s different for the Asian version of the game. Anyone have any ideas?
”As I said, we want to give you greater insight into the development process. This already happens with dev diaries and videos to an extent, but we’re going to step it up a notch with even more outlets for communication. To start with, you should absolutely expect to hear from me at least once a month via the producer’s letter.”
I’m really pleased to hear this. Reliable and regular information from Mythic is desperately needed, as long as they actually tell us something new! Though Carrie, please keep in mind “we’re making cities more RvR!” is not news now, nor was it news any time Mythic uttered that same thing during the last 6 months. Proper news please.
”We’re also interested in letting you guys have more active participation in the game through some fun contests with unconventional prizes. Not just titles and vanity items, but your own ideas and input into the game with full credit granted. To start with, we’d like to introduce the Loading Screen Tip Contest. We challenge our players to come up with their best Loading Screen help tips (whether genuine or just plain silly). Your tip will be added to the loading screens and immortalized for all eternity.”
Hah! This could be most amusing! I’d love to see items in game that are named after characters. Bootae’s Bloody Bludgeon please :P
”…Weekend Warfronts, a rotating weekend Scenario schedule, featuring a different Scenario each weekend. This might be an old favorite that was removed from the permanent rotation so that we could better concentrate populations, or it might be a new spin on a scenario with improved rule sets. Perhaps it will be something completely silly for a bit of entertainment. “
The Weekend Warfronts is not news of course, but Mythic tinkering with rule sets and adding silly stuff is. I like the sound of this, as not only will it provide some amusement, but it will also give Mythic the ability experiment in a live environment. You never know, this could lead to some excellent improvements or additions to the game.
”… in 1.3.5 we’re going to be giving you new options to increase your inventory space by opening up more bank room for each character and adding another tab to the guild vault. You will have to purchase this additional bank space with in-game currency, but we think they’re worth the cost! Players below Rank 40 will no longer have inventory space grow with leveling, but will be able to purchase the space as soon as they have the money to do so. “
Good news for a horder like me. Too much armour, not enough space.
”Additionally, we’ve added a little boon for guilds; officers with the permission to edit the guild heraldry and/or tactics will now have the ability reset them as well.”
So we can change our guild heraldry? Hmm ours is fine with our uber fist of doom, but I imagine this will be popular.
”And finally, there’s 1.3.6 and even though the minutiae is not yet finalized, one aspect that we’re considering improving is the auction house. We want to foster player-driven interaction and trade, especially as we introduce more and better items to the game, and you can’t do that with an auctionhouse that doesn’t function as it should.”
New improved auction house. Ok, not high on my list of requirements… actually it’s not on my list at all. But maybe this will be popular with others.
Also, by 1.3.6 we will make a decision, one way or another, on the armor set redesign. We’re going to maximize the effectiveness of the armor changes for the most players, without taking development time away from the systems that are most important.
/sigh… This has been dragging on for ages. The graphics for the new sets were posted by Mythic, we got all excited and then nothing. And it’s still not sodding decided?? Much like the fortress debacle this, without the game breaking results of course, but it was something many people were looking forward to. Just implement the bloody thing.
So in summary… It’s not a bad letter, but it’s lacking body. Mythic are still completely refusing to give us information about proper new content, are doing nothing to reassure us of genuine investment in the game’s future and not even acknowledging this. However on the positive side there are a few small but interesting things coming our way.